So you think there’s nothing to do in West Texas?

Are you one of those people that think West Texas is “in the middle of nowhere,” and thinks, “There is absolutely nothing to do”? Think again! Check out some of the fun activities and upcoming events in our area:

Museum of the Big Bend

The Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine features many permanent and temporary exhibits showcasing the natural beauty and history of this national park. There’s still time to catch, Knowing the North Star: The Life and Art of Tom Lea, until March 20, 2016. You definitely don’t want to miss the 30th Annual Trappings of Texas, April 14-16. A favorite exhibit among viewers, traditional Western art is showcased from artists all over the US, and custom cowboy gear can be purchased too. You can also view Jim Bones: 50 Years of Bagging Light in the Big Bend, through August of 2016. The works on display are not only for your viewing pleasure, but are also up for purchase as the ultimate souvenir.


Big Bend National Park

About a one-hour drive from the hotel lies, undoubtedly, the main attraction of West Texas, Big Bend National Park. The park boasts activities for all ages, such as fishing, horseback riding, hot springs, Rio Grande river trips, ranger-led programs, scenic drives, stargazing, birdwatching, backpacking, and of course, hiking trails. No matter what you choose to do, we guarantee the breathtaking scenery throughout the park will be something you’ll never forget. Contact our front desk for assistance in planning a trip to the park.


Annual 4th of July Marathon Post Park Dance

Throw on your cowboy boots and mosey on over to the Annual 4th of July Marathon Post Park Dance! Begin your day with barbecue and end it with dancing and tunes by the Craig Carter and Spur of the Moment band. After dark, a fireworks show will be set off in true Independence Day fashion.


Annual Mustang and Cowboy Chili Cookoffs

TWO days of chili cook offs, oh my! Whether you are a chili cook extraordinaire, or you just love the “official” state food of Texas, these events are for you. This year Marathon will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on the patio of the Marathon Motel for both the Cowboy Chili Cook Off, July 2, and the Mustang Chili Cook Off, July 3. Both competitions are run by the Chili Appreciation Society International. It’s a $20 fee to enter your own chili, and is free to the public. For more information on the competition, click here.


Viva Big Bend

Three days, ten venues, four West Texas towns, over 60 Texas bands. Viva Big Bend’s annual music festival is back in West Texas. With shows in Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, AND Marathon, the festival allows you to travel and experience the unique communities of the Big Bend area. The sole location in Marathon just so happens to be the Gage Hotel at the end of July, so don’t miss some good ol’ Texas music during your stay!



Cowboys & Indians Celebrates J.P. Bryan’s Latest Cultural Contribution

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“You might say J.P. Bryan’s magnificent Texas obsession began when he was a kid on the beach saving sea turtles with his grandma. Throughout a life full of Forbes-worthy achievements, you could almost draw a line from those sandy sea-air days of his youth on the Gulf Coast across the decades to what might be his crowning glory: the new Bryan Museum in Galveston, Texas.”

– Cowboys & Indians, January 2016

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J.P. Bryan, owner of the Gage Hotel and guardian of its legacy, is also a life-long student and collector of Texas history and Western art. After years of dedication and hard work, he recently opened the Bryan Museum in Galveston, Texas. The museum is a dazzling display of historic and culturally significant art, artifacts and information. We recommend anyone visiting the area or able to make a special trip to Galveston to plan a visit.

Click through read the entire Cowboys & Indians article here.

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Looking back at 2015

As the year is coming to a close, we are looking back to the fun times you all have shared during your stays at the Gage Hotel. From the weddings and weekend escapes, to summer fun and the holidays, we have truly enjoyed having you all and being a part of your West Texas adventures. Here are some of our favorites of 2015:


A beautiful moment captured by @shannons_photos


Chef Bruce Auden with Guests during Grilling at the Gage


@panchothepartydog getting to know our cow in the Gage Gardens


A fun looking bachelorette party shared by @amycradford


@clintmiller9 and friends enjoying their time in the Los Portales courtyard



Yummy looking meal of quail on a bed of red pepper risotto ordered by @kates.plate


@twodrifters warming up by the fire



Wild west Texas weather… brrr!


@justinstasney and friends celebrating their Marathon2Marathon success in the White Buffalo Bar

Happy New Year! We can’t wait to see you again in 2016!

Our favorite summer photos

What a fun summer season we’ve had here at the hotel! From Viva Big Bend to Grilling at the Gage, it has been a fun-filled summer and we loved seeing all of the great times had by our guests. Come back and visit us soon! Below are some of our favorite photos taken at the hotel this summer:

We love this photo from @setforthinstyle!

We love this photo from @setforthinstyle!

Nothing like relaxing yoga and meditation in the Gage Gardens! Photo courtesy of @ranchovilla_bigbend

Nothing like relaxing yoga and meditation in the Gage Gardens! Photo courtesy of @ranchovilla_bigbend

Relaxing on the porch with some pipes. These guys know how to live! Photo courtesy of @rrs1179

Relaxing on the porch with some pipes. These guys know how to live! Photo courtesy of @rrs1179

Amazing photo from @jjkennemer of a storm rolling through West Texas!

Amazing photo from @jjkennemer of a storm rolling through West Texas!

There's nothing more beautiful than a couple in love. Thank you for letting us share your special day @onsosa18

There’s nothing more beautiful than a couple in love. Thank you for letting us share your special day @onsosa18!

Wonderful collection of polaroid snapshots from around the hotel from @kodyrak.

Wonderful collection of polaroid snapshots from around the hotel from @kodyrak.

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This cute pooch was visiting us with his wonderful owner @des_reminted.

Fall Events in the Big Bend Area

If you are looking for a weekend getaway excuse this fall, look no further than a stay at Gage. Not only is the fall season a beautiful time to have an adventure in Big Bend National Park, there is also so much going on in the area and we’ve got your accommodations covered.

September 18 – Tom Lea: A Retrospective Exhibit at Museum of the Big Bend

The newest exhibit at Museum of the Big Bend celebrates the work of muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, landscapist, novelist and historian, Tom Lea. His work has taken him all over the world but most of his art focuses on subjects found right here near his home on the border between Texas and Mexico.

tom lea

September 18 – Marathon West Fest Cabrito and BBQ Cook-off

Whether you are a BBQ extraordinaire and want to give this cook-off a go, or just want to try some delicious West Texas beef, this event is for you. After the cook-off throw on your boots prepare to get down to the tunes of Craig Carter and Spur of the Moment at Post Park.


October 16-17 – Friends of Big Bend “Ride 4 Trails” Motorcycle Rally

For its 18th year, more than 400 riders are expected to ride in support of Big Bend National Park. This fun-filled event includes live music, BBQ, bike parade, games, show competitions and some gorgeous scenery with rides that will blow you away.


October 24 – Marathon 2 Marathon

You don’t have to be a marathoner or a runner to be a part of this fun event! The race offers a full marathon, ½ marathon, 10K and 5K where the finish line ends right in front of the Gage Hotel! A pasta dinner, live entertainment, and ‘Post Race Party’ keep the good times rolling on all night long.


October 24 – Terlingua Green Scene

This family friendly festival celebrates green living and promotes it in fun ways for everyone. Demonstrations, crafts, art, local food, music and a great time are some of the things you can expect at the Green Scene. Not only is this a fun way to learn about “being green” but all proceeds go to the Terlingua Community Garden!

green scene

The Gage Hotel’s Fall Music Calendar

Come join us on our restaurant patio this fall! We have several weekends of great live music we know you will enjoy. Hold on to your hats as you take a listen to our exciting line-up:

September 4 – Hillie Bills

September 5 – The Warhorses

October 10 – Abe Mac Band

October 31 – Rick Ruiz

For more information on these artists visit our website.

Viva Big Bend at the Gage

viva_big_bendGrab your partner! For the third year in a row, The Gage Hotel will be hosting the sole Marathon location of the Viva Big Bend Texas music festival, and it’s free!

This year, Viva Big Bend’s celebration of Texas music, July 23-26, will feature more than 60 performances at 10 venues across the Big Bend area in Alpine, Marathon, Marfa and Fort Davis. The music genres range from country to rock ‘n roll to mariachi, all complemented by the beautiful back drop that is Big Bend.

Prepare to start two-stepping and head banging as you check out the official trailer of Viva Big Bend 2015:

Gage Hotel Viva Big Bend Line-up:

Friday, July 24th

12:15-1:30 p.m. The O’s


2:00-3:15 p.m. William Clark Green


4-5:15 p.m. Anthony Ray Wright


Purchase your Viva Big Bend tickets here.

Don’t Miss Grilling At The Gage – Summer Event Series

We are so excited about this year’s Grilling at the Gage summer lineup!

June 13: Pecan Lodge

At Pecan Lodge, Dallas’s most award-winning BBQ is smoked in a pit and steeped in time-honored tradition. What started as a little stand at the Farmer’s Market has grown up and is now a brick-and-morter in the heart of Deep Ellum. For one night only, the chefs of Pecan Lodge will sharpen their knives, fire up their grills and set-up shop at the Gage Hotel, creating a very special dinner menu for our guests.

Gage - Pecan Lodge

Music following dinner will be performed by the one and only Abe Mac Band!

Gage - Abe Mac Band

July 18th: Biga on the Banks

San Antonio’s Biga on the Banks has a reputation for innovative New American cuisine. Led by chef and owner Bruce Auden, a native North Londoner, Biga on the Banks is well known for its adventuresome, original and creative menus. Recognized early in his career as one to watch among the new rising stars of regional cuisine, Auden brought a worldly fusion of influences to his brand of nouvelle American cuisine. For one night only, Auden and his team will guest chef at the Gage Hotel, preparing a special, pre-fix menu for our guests.

Gage - Biga on the Banks

After dinner, guests will have the pleasure of listening to the amazing Kelley Mickwee!

Gage - Kelly Mickwee

August 15th: Grilling in the Garden with 12 Gage

Serving Texas inspired specialties with a gourmet twist, the Gage Hotel’s award-winning restaurant offers a refined menu that changes seasonally and utilizes high-quality ingredients including locally sourced wild game, beef, fowl and fresh seafood served with vegetables and herbs grown in our own Gage Garden. This summer, head chef Brandon Waddell will serve a one-night pre-fix menu for our guests in the Gage Gardens, what will prove to be a very special evening under a blanket of West Texas stars.

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Don’t miss Tessy Lou & The Shotgun Stars performing after this delicious dinner!

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This is going to be an amazing summer full of delicious food and lively music! Call now for tickets and room reservations.

A message from Gage Hotel owner JP Bryan

Dear Friends and Guest of the Gage Hotel,

We have decided to write a quarterly newsletter and send you updates on things of interest to encourage you to make a visit to this unique and fascinating part of Texas. Since this is the first, let me highlight some of the history and features that will make a visit to the Gage a memorable experience.

First, we as Texans, either by chance or choice, share in the greatest history of any State in the Union. Part of this historical uniqueness and grandeur is bound in the land. It introduces itself as an omnipresent force when one crosses the Pecos River into the vast Trans Pecos Region; the center of which is Brewster County, the least populated and largest county in the State which totals over 3,963,520 acres.

Here under the spell of the Chihuahuan Desert, framed by the eastern most extension of the Rocky Mountains, and in the charming small community of Marathon, resides the Gage Hotel. For the Mescalero and Lipan Apache, this was a mystical land – a place of religious importance.   We believe it still is. This land, of the long view of the earth below and vast array of heaven’s brightest stars above, calms the soul.

At the Gage, we try to balance your stay by making your experience here comfortable enough so you won’t feel the need to depart by promoting a desire for you to experience the adventure of one of the last great frontiers of America. Visit the Big Bend National Park, nearly a million acres of desert terrain punctuated by the bountiful forested Chisos Mountains and defined by the Rio Grande as it meanders through the crevices of Mariscal, Boquillas and Santa Elena canyons. Just a short distance west of the park is the colorful community of Terlingua, home to a famed Chili Cook-off, and not far away, in Lajitas is a wonderful resort golf course that extends from the river to the surrounding hills. To the north is the beautifully restored cavalry fort, Fort Davis, and nearby on Mt. Livermore is the McDonald Observatory where families can enjoy a star party viewing the wonders of the heavens of the Southern Hemisphere. These are only a few suggestions of the many unique venues that will pique your interest and provide you moments of reflections on history and the wonders of God’s creation.

We continue to make notable improvements at the Gage Hotel to enhance your experience here. Recently, an extensive restoration was completed to the guest rooms in the historic hotel which feature beautiful new baths and room furnishings. Two years ago, we purchased and completely restored the historic Captain Shepard’s home, built in 1890, which includes five bedrooms in the main house and two in a carriage house surrounded by a large beautifully landscaped private yard ideal for a special family or corporate gathering. Currently, we are polishing the look of our 28-acre Gage Garden which include walking and running trails, ponds, native landscape trees, plants and flowers offering one of the premiere bird and butterfly watching spots in the entire region. Additionally, our Gage Spa has added new services for your enjoyment and our famous 12-Gage Restaurant, White Buffalo Bar and hotel were recently featured in Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, Western Art and Architecture, Dallas Morning News and the Austin American Statesman. For guests wanting to take home something special from the area, don’t miss our new V-6 Collection store, featuring unique area books, art, antiques, decorative home accessories and Gage logo items.

Foremost, it is our goal is for you to enjoy this part of the world we have come to love, but equally important is that you find your stay with us rewarding enough to want to return again and again.

JP Bryan

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